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Cobh homes need transparency on broadband plan – Sherlock

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Cork East TD Seán Sherlock has called transparency in the broadband plan confusion that has emerged since Eir exited the bidding process for the national internet plan, in the interest of Cobh homes and businesses.

“How did it transpire that there were still red line issues at this stage of the process such that Eir, as one of the bidders, decided to pull out of the market?” asked Deputy Sherlock of Minister Denis Naughten this week during a debate on a Fianna Fail motion for an independent assessment of the bidding process.

“ What were those red line issues? Everyone here and outside these walls wants to know. If we had some articulation from the Minister or his officials as to what the red line issues were without invoking the cloak of commercial sensitivity, it would be very helpful for us to further understand the ongoing process. What is very confusing for me and thousands of others is that not too terribly long ago a deal, as I understand it, was done to facilitate Eir to provide for an extra 300,000 houses and premises. In the intervening period, approximately 100,000 of those have been covered.”

Deputy Sherlock questioned the deal done with Eir, given that they have now exited the broadband process.

“We all have scenarios in our constituencies of relevance to this issue. There is one pocket or enclave of 12 houses in my constituency, for example, where Eir came within 12 poles on either side before stopping the roll out. That is typical of west Cork and parts of Kilkenny. If one were to move around the Chamber, Members from every county would have an articulation of the very scenario I have just painted. The question now is whether the last bidder, in effect the winner given the scenario we are in, can come in and plug that gap. There is some scepticism out there, including on my part, given that it is reasonable to wonder what price it will take for the last bidder standing to come in and close the loop in those black spots if Eir could not do so within the current competitive architecture. Will that bidder in fact be able to name its price and hold the Government to ransom as a result?”

The Labour Party is supporting the Fianna Fáil motion, the vote on which takes place Thursday.

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Cork St Patrick’s Festival 15th to 18th March with over 50,000 visitors to attend the Parade on March 17th

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DKANE 20/02/2019 REPRO FREE Dancer Claudia Sargent and Martha Lopez pictured at the mural on Water St., Cork by artist Garreth Joyce for the launch of the Cork St Patrick’s Festival 2019. Organised by Cork City Council, the festival runs from March 15 to 18 next, with the parade starting at 1pm on Sunday March 17. See www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie
Pic Darragh Kane Photography

Organised by Cork City Council, The Cork St. Patrick’s Festival will take place from March 15th to March 18th 2019, with over 50,000 visitors expected to attend the Cork St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 17th, celebrating the theme ‘Stories of Cork’.

Throughout the festival weekend, Cork will be a hive of activity with traditional Irish music from the Lee Sessions, exhibitions celebrating Irish culture, plus theatre, music, guided tours and talks.

The Cork St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be a vibrant carnival of colours, music, marching bands, amazing floats and community groups with up to 3,000 participants taking part, including some visiting from the USA.

Commissions by local arts organisations Cork Community Art Link and Dowtcha Puppets, plus national groups such as Spraoi, Buí Bolg and LuxE are in progress, creating innovative floats celebrating the theme.

Along with the entertaining flock of Cork Gulls created by Dowtcha Puppets, who have been working for weeks with local performing groups and St John’s College, a huge puppet of St. Patrick will accompany them on the route.

Cork Community Art Link will present a series of very “Cork” buildings who will roam the streets of Cork. There will be six floats of various sizes, each telling its own story through puppetry, performance and pop-up characters. These floats are being produced in conjunction with 11 local groups including Enable Ireland, The Brook Centre, Farranree Springboard, National Learning Network and Cork City Firebirds.

National arts organisations joining the parade in Cork include Waterford performance art group Spraoi, which will celebrate the origins of the word “langer” by unleashing a ‘langur monkey’ onto the street of Cork, while theatre performers from LuxE will tell the story of Sunniva, the Cork princess who became the patron saint of Western Norway.

Joining Corkonians from the United States for the Parade will also be marching bands from Indiana, North Dakota, Colorado and New York.

The parade will begin at 1pm on St. Patrick’s Day. Full details of parking, park and ride bus facilities and traffic restrictions will be available on www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie in advance of parade day. See Facebook @corkstpatricksfestival and Twitter @corkpaddysfest for updates and details of other activities to enjoy over the weekend.

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